Applying Ray Tracing for Virtual Reality and Industrial Design

Ingo Wald, Andreas Dietrich, Carsten Benthin, Alexander Efremov, Tim Dahmen,
Johannes Günther, Vlastimil Havran, Hans-Peter Seidel, and Philipp Slusallek

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Com­puter aided de­sign (CAD) and vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant tools for in­dus­trial de­sign ap­pli­ca­tions. Un­for­tu­nately, there is a huge and grow­ing gap be­tween what data CAD en­gi­neers are work­ing on, what ren­der­ing qual­ity is needed by de­sign­ers and ex­ec­u­tives to faith­fully judge a de­sign vari­ant, and what ren­der­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties are of­fered by com­monly avail­able VR frame­works. In par­tic­u­lar, ex­ist­ing VR sys­tems can­not cur­rently cope with the ac­cu­racy de­manded by CAD en­gi­neers, nor can they de­liver the photo-realistic ren­der­ing qual­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity re­quired by de­sign­ers and de­ci­sion mak­ers.

In this pa­per, we de­scribe a ray trac­ing based vir­tual re­al­ity frame­work that closes these gaps. In par­tic­u­lar, the pro­posed sys­tem sup­ports di­rect ray trac­ing of trimmed freeform sur­faces even for com­plex mod­els of thou­sands of patches, al­lows for ac­cu­rately sim­u­lat­ing re­flec­tions and re­frac­tion for glass and car paint ef­fects, of­fers sup­port for di­rect in­te­gra­tion of mea­sured ma­te­ri­als via bidi­rec­tional tex­ture func­tions, and even al­lows for soft en­vi­ron­men­tal light­ing from high dy­namic range en­vi­ron­ment maps. All of these ef­fects can be de­liv­ered in­ter­ac­tively, and are demon­strated on a real-world in­dus­trial model, a com­plete Mer­cedes C-Class car.


9 pages
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